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Functional connectivity of the nucleus basalis of Meynert in Lewy body dementia and Alzheimer's disease

Lookup NU author(s): Julia SchumacherORCiD, Professor Alan ThomasORCiD, Dr Michael FirbankORCiD, Professor John O'Brien, Professor John-Paul TaylorORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© International Psychogeriatric Association 2021.Cholinergic deficits are a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Lewy body dementia (LBD). The nucleus basalis of Meynert (NBM) provides the major source of cortical cholinergic input; studying its functional connectivity might, therefore, provide a tool for probing the cholinergic system and its degeneration in neurodegenerative diseases. Forty-six LBD patients, 29 AD patients, and 31 healthy age-matched controls underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). A seed-based analysis was applied with seeds in the left and right NBM to assess functional connectivity between the NBM and the rest of the brain. We found a shift from anticorrelation in controls to positive correlations in LBD between the right/left NBM and clusters in right/left occipital cortex. Our results indicate that there is an imbalance in functional connectivity between the NBM and primary visual areas in LBD, which provides new insights into alterations within a part of the corticopetal cholinergic system that go beyond structural changes.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Schumacher J, Thomas AJ, Peraza LR, Firbank M, O'Brien JT, Taylor J-P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Psychogeriatrics

Year: 2021

Volume: 33

Issue: 1

Pages: 89-94

Print publication date: 01/01/2021

Online publication date: 08/01/2021

Acceptance date: 30/10/2020

Date deposited: 19/03/2021

ISSN (print): 1041-6102

ISSN (electronic): 1741-203X

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


DOI: 10.1017/S1041610220003944

Notes: Issue Theme: Assessment of Risk Markers for Cognitive Impairment


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